I keep getting asked “what are you going to do with your horses when you move?” To me its a bit like asking someone what they’re doing with their children or cherished family pet when they move. There is no question- MY BOYS ARE COMING WITH ME!
The boys, Ben the ginger one (okay, chestnut if we’re being technically correct) and Jerry the grey one are the reason The Parents and I agreed on this particular house and not one of the countless others we viewed. It not only offered separate living accommodations for The Parents and me but also a lovely, gently sloping paddock surrounded by hedgerows – just perfect for my prancing Arab boys.
I was lucky, I grew up with horses but not in the privileged Pony Club way where horses are seen as little more than a machine with a pulse, one that’s discarded as soon as it’s no longer useful. Oh no in the Ingleson stable a horse is for life, regardless of how useful they are they’re part of the family.
The first family pony was one my mum rescued. At 6 months old she was too young to have left her Mum, had been rounded up fresh off the Welsh Mountains, bought by someone who knew nothing about horses, let alone vulnerable foals, kept her tied up in the back garden of their Council house (sadly this isn’t as unusual as you might think), and then grew bored of her. My mum spotted her advertised in the local paper, and knew if she didn’t take her the meat man would. So Honey (sweet by name but with a definite demonic streak) arrived and so began my life long love affair with horses.
Everyone said “she’ll grow out of them when she discovers boys” but as it turns out I didn’t. My teenage years came and with it arrived Brook, my first ever Arab. I fell in love with the horse and the breed. I was 13 and he was a scared 3 year old who had know far too many owners in his short life (we were his forth). Boys came and went but Brook stayed until right before my 30th birthday when he was suddenly taken critically and fatally ill. He was just 19.
Rizz came next. A stunning horse with a bad reputation. An undeserved reputation brought about by idiot people who didn’t have a clue and nearly ruined him. That horse arrived with no trust of humans and left (died) one of the most loyal horses you could wish for. I never could ride him due to his past experiences but it didn’t matter.
Shar, Rizz’s double and bestest mate, was a delight and the most sunny natured horse you could wish for. He came to us when he was 14 after his owners decided they didn’t want him anymore. Sadly we only got to enjoy his optimism for five short years before colic took hold.
Now it’s Ben and Jerry who own my heart (and my purse). Jerry the ex endurance horse who was off- loaded to a rescue centre when he was no longer fit for purpose, and Ben who has more ailments than any one creature deserves but still manages to dance his way through life with his ears forward.
I think it’s fair to say if anything it’s boys I’ve grown out off – I’ve spent a good chunk of the last 10 years single, but in the last 36 years I only managed a couple of weeks without horse.
So if you are kind enough to enquire about the move and my boys try something like “do you think the horses will like it?”!